Saturday, July 18, 2015

Walking in Saas Fee Switzerland

I think Facebook and other social media are killing blogs.  All the things I used to post on blogs - photos and accounts of walks etc now get posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  There is an immediacy about that, but it generally means that I am not writing anything structured or constructing anything well formed in terms of a piece of writing or narrative of a trip.

Anyway, I'm just back from a week's walking in Saas Fee in the Valais area of Switzerland.  We had a great time with some superb weather, walking around the Saastal villages taking full advantage of all the lifts and cable cars.

We walked out on the glacier to the Britannia Hut.

And a superb circuit of the Mattmarksee.

There are loads of photos and lots of good memories.  I was reminded of how much I love the hills.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It almost felt like Spring

This morning almost felt like Spring.  The warmth in the air, the earlier sunrise.

It was good to be out there.  All I am doing is moving now, running or walking as it seems best, but always keeping it easy and within my comfort zone.  The pleasure is in being out there.

The bigger hills will come soon enough.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Birthday hills

Well it was my birthday today,... I had been thinking that I had got over feeling depressed about getting older, but then last week I had this disturbing thought at in relatively few years I would be 60.  How did that happen?

Well it didn't stop me getting up into the hills this morning as I do every Sunday morning.  The photo at the top there was the sky as I started running at about 8am.  The sunrise is getting earlier now.

I jogged down to Flotterstone and then up over Caerketton and back to the car.  About 6 miles in total.  A nice refreshing and relaxing run.

I am itching to get back into the bigger mountains.  Not just Munros, but I want to get back into the Alps again.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Still here

I'm still here

Still getting up early to catch sunrise in the Pentland Hills.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sunday morning sunrise....

I was tired on Sunday morning after a long week and a busy Saturday.  Yet the sun was starting to lighten the sky...and it looked clear, a good omen for a nice sunrise.  So of course I headed up to the hills.

It was the familiar sharp pull up to the ridge, where I paused to take a few photos, the light doing its thing....and Arthur's Seat doing its.

Then along the ridge.

Some stunning views.

To the north the bigger hills were visible in the clear air - I named each Munro to myself and remembered climbing them.

A wonderful morning.

Monday, November 17, 2014

There is a new bridge coming

Yesterday afternoon we took a trip out to North Queensferry to have a look at how things were progressing with the new Forth Crossing.  While the intention was focussed on the construction, in the end our attention was really captured by the sunset.

The walk across the Bridge was cold and the footpath was wobbling more than usual, or so it felt.

A fairly short walk - about 1.75 miles, but we stuttered along from photo to photo.

Eventually I gave up taking photos - there was too much to see and I just let it soak in.

A beautiful walk.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tenerife - October 2014

Back now from a couple of weeks walking in Tenerife.  After a long and stressful year at work - the Scottish Independence Referendum took a lot out of me - it was great to get away for some rest and rebuilding.  Lots of food, sunshine, walks, wine and mountains.

I'll write up some of the walks, but here are a few photos to whet the appetite:

Puerto de la Cruz

Mount Teide from the Orotava Valley

Below Los Organos

at the end of the Masca Gorge
Pico Viejo

Las siete canadas

Las siete canadas


Laurel Forests

Stubai Alps - Serles

I need to finish writing up the walks from our holiday in June to Austria.  I'm now back from a couple of weeks in Tenerife and have some good photos from there to share, but before that I should really complete the report from Austria.  This was a week we did at the start of June as a package with Inghams, based in Neustift about 25km from Innsbruck in an area called the Stubai Alps.

Friday was the last day and we visited a mountain area and a lift that we'd not been to so far in the week - Serles.  We got the bus out from the village along to Meiders another village maybe 10km down the valley towards Innsbruck.  It is from here that the lift takes you from the 960m village, up to the top station at 1600m.

Up there are a set of trails through some nice woods with some great views of the 2717m Serles -  a really beautiful peak.  There is a path up there that looked tempting, but time was too short to have a crack at it.

We followed one of the trails to the convent of Maria Waldrast - a place of pilgrimage.  These catholic shrines crack me up.  Two woodsman one day found a miraculous wooden statue of the Virgin in a tree....they made a church around it and then the place became a place of pilgrimage.  Ker-ching.  The village become prosperous.  There you go.  Still it is a pretty place in the woods.

It is a place as well where there is special healing water....which you can buy..

Well we sat there and had a beer at the convent cafe which was quite nice and then took another path back which went over the wooded summit of Jochl at 1878m.

On the way up we past another shrine and a series of "stations of the cross".  Austria is so "northern European" but I sometimes forget just how catholic it is as a country.

There were lots of good views of Serles as we headed back to the lift.

It is a big beast of a hill, but very impressive.

And always the cross on the top.

The summit of Jochl was in the woods but there were still good views.

Then we dropped back through the woods, returning to the cafe at the top of the cable car.

Which was a good place for a beer and cake!

The descent back to Mieders was pretty special.  I didn't take any photos, but it was a 2.8km "toboggan run" - where you sat in a little single seater cart of speed down a set of rails all the way back to the bottom of the hill.  Great fun, highly recommended and all included in the Stubai card that we got for free as hotel residents.